I am Number Four

About a month ago I listened to the audio book of I am Number Four, and I rented the movie last night. Usually I don’t like to read a book and watch the movie so close together, but I did this time for comparison purposes. Let’s just say I feel like this movie should have been marketed as ‘loosely based on the book’.

The short rundown of both the book and the movie is this: Teenage alien boy fled from his planet with a guardian and eight other kids when he was little. Now they all live on earth, but not together, and they’ve been hiding from the Mogadorians, who are trying to kill them.  They have to be killed in order, though they don’t explain why in the movie. John Smith is number four, and he is next in line to be killed.

The book dives deep into the how and the why of the Mogadorian’s attack on John’s home planet and the escape of the others and John. It also dives deep into John’s powers and how hard he has to work to gain them, and how hard it is to come out as an alien to your friends (even when one of them is a crazy UFO junkie).  Everything just seems to flow too easily for John in the movie. There is also little development of relationships aside from the one between John and his love interest, so I didn’t really care when people were in danger.

I’ll admit the book was a little slow for its subject matter, about halfway through you start wondering if this really is a book about aliens. However, all that slowness gave it much more depth, and gave the reader  more insight into what was really going on.  The movie skips all that, and jumps around through the plot to hit all the key points that progress the story. Unfortunately, it feels like that is all they’re doing. It also really bothered me that they pronounced things differently in the movie than they did in the audi0book, I would have preferred consistency.

In short:  read the book, skip the movie. The people I watched the movie with had no knowledge of the book, and they didn’t have much good to say about the movie either. The special effects were cool, but they didn’t even give John the main power he has in the book.  Overall, I’d rather watch Jennifer’s Body again.

Comments are closed.

RSS for Posts RSS for Comments